Start a Home Herb Garden

Kim J. Clark

There are many great reasons to start your own home herb garden. Generally herbs are easy to grow and can be enjoyed by the whole family. With many varieties of colors, textures, and scents of plants available, you can literally customize your garden to suit any needs you may have.

Depending on your needs you may choose from any of the four classifications of herbs: medicinal, aromatic, ornamental, and culinary. You may know some of the more popular herbs for their use in cooking and enhancing the flavors of foods: oregano, rosemary, basil, thyme, cilantro and sage to name a few. There are many more that you may not have heard of such as lemon balm, borage, or hyssop. Choose what you are attracted to and what will grow well in your climate. Part of the fun of growing herbs is to discover how to use them!

You may start planting your home herb garden anytime of the year. Most herbs can be started indoors and do well in containers. They can be started from either seeds or seedlings. If you are new to gardening, then seedlings (small young plants) may provide more immediate success and joy for you. The plants can be transplanted into the ground when the weather is temperate.

Planning the outdoor space for your herb garden is important. Your herbs will need about six hours of sun in most cases, however some do prefer shade. Check with your local nursery ans ask which herbs will grow best in your climate. They should carry both seeds and seedlings.

To find the best spot in your yard, make a visual check of the sun at various times throughout the day. The size of your garden is up to you. For a beginner’s garden a space of four by six feet should be adequate. Most herbs prefer a sandy soil that has good drainage. Raised garden beds will provide this drainage. You can purchase these beds pre-made or make your own. Don’t worry if you don’t have adequate yard space for planting. Herbs will grow quite well in containers on your patio or windowsill. Keeping the herbs near the home makes it convenient to harvest when cooking.

It’s easy and rewarding to start growing your own herb garden at home. Don’t worry about needing to know everything upfront. Herb gardening is a process and a journey in itself. In the words of Aristotle “What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing.”

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